Junior News Editor
The fifth annual “Pride of Our Nation, Pride of Our College” exhibit opened last Tuesday to honor veterans with ties to Hudson Valley.
“We want people to know that this is not an exhibit about war, this is an exhibit that’s about family and taking pride in your family and their service to country,” said Alice Malavasic, the history professor who originally created the exhibit and who has organized it every year since.
The exhibit features American service men and women from wars throughout the nation’s history who are immediate family members or ancestors of current Hudson Valley students, faculty, or staff members. The collection of photographs and artifacts has expanded to over 100 photographs since the first Pride of Our Nation exhibit in 2010.
“The Pride of Our Nation” was taken from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s D-Day prayer he gave on June 6, 1944: “Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.” Pride of Our College was added to customize the exhibit’s title to Hudson Valley.
The exhibit officially opened on Nov. 10 in the Marvin Library Troy Savings Bank Atrium with a traditional cutting of the cake ceremony and will run until Dec. 7. Many family members of the service men and women displayed attended the reception.
Orville Dugrenier, a World War II veteran, was given special recognition before the cutting of the cake. He passed away in Feb. 2015 after contributing to the Pride of Our Nation exhibit and being the official cake-cutter for several years. This year, World War II veteran Josephine Smith Oswald cut the cake at the reception.
One picture featured in the display illustrates the account of how the Hudson Valley flag was carried into Afghanistan in Oct. 2012 by members of the New York National Guard. Omaid Yousofzai, an interpreter with the Army in Afghanistan who graduated from Hudson Valley in 2010, was present Tuesday night.
Carrie Farley, the president of the Capitol Region Gold-Star Mothers, was also in attendance. A Gold-Star Mother is a mother who has lost a child to combat. Her son, Derek Farley, was a graduate from Hudson Valley who was killed in Afghanistan five years ago. His uniform and boots are on display each year.
“The exhibit is always wonderful; I think it’s a hometown touch. I hope kids just take time and look through [the exhibit] because we still need to realize that somebody gave,” Farley said.